The Soft Power of War: Legitimacy and community in Iraq war discourses
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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The paper deals with educational discourse concerning the recent Iraq war in an attempt to explore how broader political issues, such as the Iraq war, are materialised in everyday classroom practices. It analyses lesson plans, aimed to be used by US educators of primary and secondary schools, from two Internet sites: one supporting the official position of US to go to war and the other taking a position against the war. The paper suggests that the lesson plans in the two sites constitute materialisations of two general approaches to education, the dominant and the critical, which do not simply adopt opposing views concerning the war but which, most importantly, contribute to the construction of different pedagogic subjects: in one case, there is an attempt towards ‘compulsory patriotism’, whereas in the other an attempt towards a ‘compulsory’ challenging of the war. The ideals which are in fact recontextualised here are that of nation and justice, the pedagogisation of which seems to raise much more questions than to provide answers.


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